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September 22, 2014

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Las Vegas City Council:

Ward 4 candidates, residents disagree on priorities

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Richard Brian

Las Vegas City Council Ward 4 candidates respond to questions during a public forum with Sun City Summerlin residents Wednesday at the Desert Vista Social Hall Park. From left, Stavros Anthony, Sam Christos, Gary M. Hosea, Yvonne Karim, Terrie Price and Glenn Trowbridge.

Las Vegas City Council - Ward 4 Candidates

Las Vegas City Council Ward 4 candidate Terrie Price responds to a question during a public forum with Sun City Summerlin residents Wednesday at the Desert Vista Social Hall Park. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas City Council Ward 4 candidates spoke broadly Wednesday night about job creation and economic development, but many who attended the Sun City Summerlin forum said they felt the candidates didn’t specifically address community issues.

The forum at the Desert Vista Social Hall attracted about 150 residents from the 55-plus community.

“They heard six candidates, many of whom had no idea what is going on in Sun City Summerlin,” said Frank Beers, president of the Residents’ Forum, which presented the event.

Campaign promises of preventing foreclosures and improving education were on the lips of most of the candidates, but those issues are not as relevant in Sun City Summerlin, said resident Ray Izen.

“More than 12,000 people live here and they have no idea who we are,” he said. “We are retirees. There are very few foreclosed houses in Sun City Summerlin.”

The audience became most animated when the discussion turned to the closure of the community’s only post office inside the Longs Drugs on Del Webb and Sun City boulevards. The post office is expected to close at the end of the month.

For a community with many residents who can only drive a golf cart, that’s a problem, said Brenda Izen, who is married to Ray.

“We fought in World War II and Vietnam and we’re still fighting,” she said. “We want our right for a post office in the center of our community.”

Although a proposed new Las Vegas city hall is far out of Summerlin, it was still an issue that evoked grumbles from many residents. The project is mired in controversy because it is supported by the local laborers union, which favors the redevelopment plan for downtown and the jobs the project would bring. But it’s opposed by the Culinary Union because of the high cost to taxpayers in a stagnant economy. Two candidates opposed the city hall plan.

Stavros Anthony, who has served as a Metro Police officer for 28 years -- the last 10 as a captain -- said the money could be spent better elsewhere.

“I think the $250 million that is going to be used to build the city hall should instead be used to prop up services to seniors, to take care of kids and keep our communities safe,” he said.

Glenn Trowbridge, chairman of the Las Vegas Planning Commission, also is not in favor of more funding for the new city hall, a project proposed years ago.

“It was a great idea at the time,” he said. “Economic circumstances have changed things.”

Some in attendance said they wanted to see the issue go to voters. The current city council doesn’t see it that way. Last week, the board voted to stop a redevelopment ballot initiative and referendum question backed by the Culinary Union that would have affected redevelopment projects, such as the proposed city hall.

“Right now it’s (the city hall debate) irrelevant because it’s already in motion, so let’s focus on the positive,” said candidate Sam Christos, a Cheyenne High School teacher.

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